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TILD»« >OU«r>ATlOHl 

Jp a n n u (G r a t; a m . 

What is the matter, Fanny ?"— p. 24. 




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B 1941 ^ L 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, hy the 

in the Cleric's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of 

JK^ No bools are published by the American Suxday-School Union 
without the sanction of the Committee of Publication, consisting of four- 
teen members, from the following denominations of Christians, viz. Bap- 
tist, Jlethodist, Congregational, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and 
Reformed Dutch. Not more than three of the members can be of the same 
denomination, and no book can be published to which any member of the 
Committee shall object. 

FANNY graham; 



Faxny Graham lived with her father and 
her grandmother in a low, poor-looking cottage, 
which contained four rooms. There was a front 
kitchen, a tidy pleasant room, in which, besides 
other things, were a mahogany table piled up 
with books, an old clock with a half rubbed-out 
face, which ticked all day and all night ; and a 
corner cupboard with a glass door ; and there 
was a back kitchen fitted up with shelves and 
closets, where all the washing and cleaning 
was done. Over each kitchen was a bed- 
room. Fanny and her grandmother slept in 
one, and her father and her brother Harry 
slept in the other. It was a small house, but 
it was large enough for four people, especially 
when three of them were away nearly all the 
day, for Fanny went to school, and her father 


and her brother were out at work. There was 
a large garden behind the house where plenty 
of potatoes and cabbages and apple-trees 
grew ; and a little slip of ground at the side 
filled with flowers. Fannj called this her's, 
because she always watered the plants, and 
attended to them. 

Fanny was a very little child when she lost 
her mother ; and for the next five or six years 
she lived with an aunt who had offered to take 
care of her. Fanny's aunt did not treat her 
kindly, nor did she teach her to read and work, 
as her mother would have done; so that Fanny 
did not know so much as most little girls of 
her age ; and she always seemed timid and 
frightened, because she was afraid of being 
scolded by her aunt. 

It was a happy day for Fanny when her 
father obtained constant work at Westbrook 
Farm, near the village in which he was born, 
and where his widowed mother resided ; be- 
cause, as he then had a settled home, he could 
have his little girl to live with him. Fanny 
found the change a pleasant one ; for her grand- 
mother w^as a good friend to her, and did all 
she could to make her happy and comfortable. 
Fanny soon began to look more cheerful and 


healthy ; and, as months passed aAvay, she grew 
so tall and rosy that her aunt would scarcely 
have known her. 

But the happiest persons have some troubles 
to bear, and even little Fanny met with a few 
things in her new home which were not very 
agreeable to her; but her worst trial, perhaps, 
was going to school. Kot that Fanny was 
unwilling to learn to read, or that she disliked 
the society of other children ; but she found 
herself so far behind the rest of the scholars, 
that she was ashamed and discouraged. Fanny 
was very fond of praise, and very desirous to 
be well-informed ; and therefore it Avas the 
more mortifying to her to find, day after day, 
that all the girls of her own age, and many 
far younger, could answer better than she did. 
But why did not Fanny try to improve ? She 
did try, and tried earnestly, too ; but it seemed 
as if the more she tried the less she succeeded ; 
at least fresh difficulties were constantly arising 
in her way. Every one said that Fanny was 
very dull, for she could not understand the 
most simple and easy lessons without very 
great trouble and attention ; and sometimes, 
after poring over her book for a long time, 
she would shut it up in despair, because she 


was unable to make out its meaning. Often 
wlien a question was addressed to her in her 
class, she would give so strange and droll a 
reply, that the girls would look at each other 
and laugh ; and then Fanny's cheeks would 
colour till they were as red as the roses in her 
own garden, and angry feelings would arise in 
her heart. 

Fanny was not naturally quick of compre- 
hension : but her early disadvantages made her 
appear slower than she really was ; and the 
discouraging opinion which she had of her own 
abilities kept her from making the progress she 
might otherwise have done. 

One of Fanny's school-fellows was a little 
girl about her own age, named Mary Ellis. 
Mary was a lively, intelligent-looking child, 
with light blue eyes and soft curling hair; and 
Fanny sadly envied Mary's pretty face and 
pleasing manners. She would sit sometimes 
and gaze on her bright looks, and listen to 
her correct and ready answers, until tears 
of sorrow and vexation would rush into her 
eyes. "It is very hard," she would think, 
"that Mary should be so pretty and so know- 
ing, while I am so dull and so awkward. It 
is no trouble to her to learn her lessons, and 


she gets so many good marks ; I wish I were 
Mary." Fanny did not reflect, and, perhaps, 
she scarcely knew, how wrong such thoughts 
were ; for no one had ever taught her about 
such things, and therefore she went on indulg- 
ing envious and discontented feelings, until 
she became dissatisfied with herself and with 
every one around her. 

One day, during the hour which those chil- 
dren who remained were allowed for dinner 
and play, Mary Ellis and three or four of the 
girls were standing together in the school- 
room, arranging some little game which they 
had chosen. <'We want one more now," said 
Ruth Wilson, ''let us have Fanny Graham." 

"Oh no, we cannot have her," said Mary, 
impatiently, ''she is so stupid, you know; she 
never does any thing right, and she will be sure 
to put us all out. Little Martha Shaw will 
do ever so much better." 

Ruth gave way at once, and little Martha 
Shaw was called to fill the vacant place ; while 
Fanny, w^ho sat at a little distance, apparently 
busily engaged with an old picture-book which 
she had found in one of the cupboards, bent 
her face over the pages to conceal the tears 
which would come in spite of her efforts to 


restrain them. She had heard every word 
which had been said, although her schoolfellows 
had not intended she should, and her heart 
was full of grief and indignation. It really 
was very trying to hear herself spoken of in 
such a manner; and Fanny could have borne 
it better if the accusation had been untrue ; 
but she felt that Mary's remarks were partly 
correct, and this made them the more annoy- 

Fanny sat with her book in her hand, think- 
ing over her troubles, and murmuring at her 
hard lot, till little Marti i Shaw, having 
finished her game, came running toward her, 
and asked to look at the bright pictures which 
attracted her attention. Fanny pushed the 
child away from her and said, crossly, "You 
cannot have it now, Martha. I want it my- 
self. You can go and play with Mary Ellis, 
if you like." 

Now Fanny had not turned over a single 
page in her book, ft)r she had been too sorrow- 
ful to look at it ; and yet she was unwilling to 
let little Martha have it for one minute. , The 
truth was, Martha seemed a sort of rival just 
then, and Fanny's irritated feelings made her 
unjust and unkind; for, at any other time she 


would have been pleased to point out the pic- 
tures to one of her schoolfellows. 

Fanny had not recovered her good temper 
when the school assembled for the afternoon ; 
and Mary's cheerful looks and merry smiles 
did not help to restore it. It happened that 
Mary had occasion to go to the opposite side 
of the room to get her thimble ; and as it was 
nearer to pass Fanny than to walk round the 
other way, she naturally attempted to do so. 
But Fanny was not inclined to be accommoda- 
ting ; so she stretched out her feet, and leaned 
herself forward, saying, "You have no business 
to come pushing here, Mary; you may just 
go round the other way." Mary was going 
to reply in an equally unkind manner, when 
their governess, who heard the dispute, re- 
proved Fanny for her rudeness, and desired 
she would allow Mary to pass quietly. Fanny 
Avas obliged to obey, but her dark frown and 
sullen behaviour showed that it was not pleas- 
ant to her to do so. Poor little Fanny ! She 
fancied that everybody was against her, and 
tried to make her unhappy ; and when school 
was over she hurried away that she might not 
have to walk home with Mary. Mary lived 
in a small village about a mile from the school- 


house; and none of her schoolfellows came 
from the same distance but Fannj. 

Mary's parents were much richer than 
Fanny's, and they indulged their little girl 
very much because she was their only child ; 
and they spared no pains nor expense to give 
her a good education. She w^as quick and 
industrious, and fully repaid their efforts. She 
was more forward than most girls of her age ; 
but her success with her studies, and her gene- 
ral good character, made her rather vain of 
herself and inconsiderate about others. She 
was never intentionally unkind, but the way 
in which she looked upon those who were 
poorer or less intelligent than herself, led her 
sometimes to act as she ought not to have done; 
and she did not try to conceal the indifference 
and contempt with which she regarded Fanny 
Graham. How sad it is when the goodness of 
God to ourselves only makes us less kind to 
others I 

Fanny reached home that afternoon with a 
heavy heart ; and when she had put away her 
bonnet and cloak, she sat down on her little 
stool, and looked gloomily into the fire. 

''Don't you feel well, Fanny?" said her 
grandmother, kindly. 


"Yes, I am very Avell," re^Dlied the little 
girl, in a peevish tone. 

"Then I am sure you are tired, dear; so 
make haste and pull off your thick shoes, and 
then you shall have some warm supper. And 
I have got a bit of good news to tell you," 
continued her grandmother as she stirred the 
fire to make the kettle boil afresh; "the new 
minister's wife is going to begin a Sunday- 
school, and she has been here this afternoon 
to ask me if I would let you go to it next 

"And what did you tell her, grandmother?" 
said Fanny. 

" I said you should go, for I was sure you 
would like it, Fanny. Don't you think you 

"I am sure I do not knoAv," answered 
Fanny, sadly. "I think I have quite enough 
of going to school in the week." 

" Oh ! but it is not like a day-school," re- 
marked her grandmother, cheerfully: "you 
will not have much to learn ; and there will 
be nice little books given ■ away every month 
to those children who go in time, and who 
behave well." 

Fanny's face brightened a little at the 


description wliich lier grandmother gave of 
the Sunday-school ; and she thought that if 
the lessons were few and easy, she should like 
to become a scholar. She was pleased with 
the idea of getting a reward book sometimes ; 
for Fanny, although she was rather slow in 
committing her daily tasks to memory, was 
very fond of reading pretty little stories : and 
as the books were to be given to the most 
regular and well-behaved, and not to the 
quickest learners, she felt quite sure that she 
should be able to merit them. 

''And what time will the school begin, 
grandmother?" said Fanny, with more interest 
than she had yet manifested. 

''Nine o'clock; and Mrs. Simmons hoped 
you would be there in time. She is such a 
nice, pleasant lady, Fanny, and speaks so 
gently. You will not feel at all afraid of 

"But Mrs. Simmons will not teach us, will 

"No, I do not suppose she will, unless there 
should not be teachers enough ; but she will 
be there to manage it all. Miss Simmons, and 
Mrs. Davidson, and the two Miss Whites have 
promised to teach every Sunday ; at least, so 


Mrs. Ellis told me -when I vrent to her house 
this morning to order some coal." 

<'Is Mary Ellis going?" inquired Fannv, 

"Yes, I believe so," said her grandmother; 
''her mother thought she would be delighted 
with the idea of it." 

The cloud gathered over Fanny's brow 
again ; for the mention of Mary recalled 
many impleasant thoughts. Her grandmother 
was ignorant of the dislike with which Fanny 
regarded her schoolfellow, for she never spoke 
about her school-troubles ; indeed, Mrs. Gra- 
ham imagined that the little girls were very 
good friends, so she continued — 

" Perhaps you will be in the same class with 
Mary, and that will be very pleasant." 

" I do not want to be put with her, I am sure," 
said Fanny, half offended with her grandmo- 
ther for supposing such a thing." "She is a, 
very disagreeable girl, and I wish she was not 
going to the Sunday-school, — that I do." 

Fanny's grandmother looked surprised. 
"Why, Fanny, I cannot tell how you can 
dislike Mary ; she seems such a pleasant, 
good-tempered little girl, and is so quick at 
every thing." 


''Well, I do not like her, and I never shall;" 
persisted Fanny, as she rose from her seat, 
and went into the other room to change her 
shoes ; for she did not feel at all inclined to 
give any reasons for her complaints of Mary. 
When she came back, the conversation was not 
continued ; for her grandmother saw that 
Fanny vras vexed about something, and so she 
wisely resolved to say no more respecting the 
Sunday-school, until the little girl had regained 
her usual cheerfulness. 

A good night's rest soothed Fanny's irri- 
tated feelings respecting her schoolfellow, and 
she was able to talk about the Sunday-school, 
without exciting such unamiable thoughts of 

Children are fond of novelty, and Fanny 
looked forward with much pleasure, and with 
some impatience, to the approaching Sunday. 
She busied herself during the rest of the week 
in trying to picture the scenes that would then 
take place, and in studying the first few of 
some questions which the scholars would have 
to answer. Fanny disliked learning by heart 
very much, and therefore the voluntary trouble 
which she now took was a proof of her anxiety 
to appear to the best advantage she could at 


her new school. She did not wish to be quite 
eclipsed by Mary Ellis. How easy it is to 
do a right thing from a wrong motive ! 

It was a beautiful morning when Fanny and 
her grandmother left their home, and turned 
down the long narrow lane which led to the 
school. The sun was shining brightly, the 
birds sang merrily, and the golden corn waved 
in the gentle breeze. Fanny walked gayly 
along ; but when they drew near the school, 
her step grew steadier, and her looks became 
graver ; for she began to feel half afraid that 
she should not really like the Sunday-school. 
She hung timidly behind her grandmother as 
they entered ; but the kind tones of Mrs. Sim- 
mons soon re-assured her, and she not only 
answered distinctly the few questions that 
were proposed to her, but read with unusual 
correctness two or three verses which were 
selected as a test of her attainments. 

After a few words of encouragement, Mrs. 
Simmons appointed her a place in the highest 
class ; it contained only three scholars, at pre- 
sent, besides Fanny ; for most of the children 
who came were very ignorant and uninstructed ; 
and Fanny felt rather proud of her superiority 
to them. She was also gratified by the disco- 


very that none of lier companions — not even 
Mary Ellis, had on so smart a frock as her 
own. Fanny's frock was quite new and very 
pretty, and w^as trimmed with deep blue fringe ; 
and she looked a little disdainfully at the 
faded and sometimes patched dresses of the 
other girls. Ah ! Fanny was not conscious 
that she was encouraging in herself the very 
feelings which she had so condemned in 
Mary Ellis ! 

Miss Simmons took charge of the class to 
which Fanny belonged ; and her gentle man- 
ners and pleasant remarks soon gained the 
attention and interest of her little pupils, and 
they were sorry when the morning's instruc- 
tions were ended. 

" How do you like your teacher, Fanny ?" 
whispered Mary. 

"Yery much, indeed," said Fanny, warmly. 
"She is so kind." 

"And not at all proud," added Mary in a 
tone of approval. The favourable impression 
which Miss Simmons made on her little class 
did not wear off in a few Sundays ; but the 
affection of the children for their teacher gra- 
dually increased. Fanny's happiest hours were 
those which she spent in her Sunday-school; 


and she was always glad when Saturday even- 
ing came, that she might prepare for the 
pleasant duties of the morrow. Fanny did 
not now dislike learning her lessons, at least 
not those which she had to repeat at her Sun- 
day-school, for her teacher explained their 
meaning to her first in so simple and intel- 
ligent a way, that she found very little diffi- 
culty in getting them by heart. She could 
not learn any thing without great trouble un- 
less she thoroughly understood it, and this was 
one reason why she had generally appeared 
so dull. But Miss Simmons made even the 
"tiresome questions" seem interesting, and 
it actually became one of Fanny's favourite 

Fanny loved Miss Simmons very much, for 
she felt that Miss Simmons loved her and 
wished to make her happy ; and the conscious- 
ness of this threw a cheerful glow over her 
daily life. If others called her stupid and 
awkward. Miss Simmons never did ; she was 
always satisfied with each child if she did her 
best. Every cff'ort to act rightly was marked 
and encouraged ; and Miss Simmons strove to 
impress upon her pupils the importance of cul- 
tivating the talents they possessed, not from a 


wish to excel others, but from a desire to please 
and glorify God. 

Mary Ellis was taught that good abilities 
and quick perceptions were gifts from God, 
for the use of which she was responsible to 
Him ; and that where much is given, much Avill 
be required ; and Eanny had learned that the 
possessor of only one talent has quite enough 
to do if she rightly improves that, without 
envying those which are entrusted to others. 
The life of their Saviour upon earth was 
pointed out to them as their constant and 
lovely example ; and they were kindly urged 
to imitate the humility, the meekness, and the 
self-denial which shone so brightly in his cha- 
racter. This reference to the conduct of Christ 
in our every-day actions surprised Fanny at 
first. Like many children, she had never 
thought much about her Saviour, or tried to 
please him. She had scarcely understood why 
he was her Saviour ; but Vv'hen she heard and 
believed how much he loved her and what he 
had done for her, she no longer wondered that 
she was required to strive to be like him. If, 
taught by the Holy Spirit, vre believe' that 
Jesus died to save us from our sins, and from 
their punishment, and trust in him as our 


Saviour, we shall love him ; and if we love him, 
we shall be anxious to obey him in every thing, 
and to follow the pattern which he gave us when 
he was on earth. Fanny tried to do so ; and 
the question, ''Would Christ have done this?" 
or, "Will he be pleased if I say that?" often 
checked an angry feeling or an unkind word. 

One twelvemonth passed away, and Fanny 
was happier, much happier, than she had been 
before she went to the Sunday-school. The 
dark frown which had so often clouded her 
face was now seldom seen, but a sweet, peace- 
ful smile was there instead ; and her cheerful 
looks, and obliging behaviour gladdened the 
heart of her fond grandmother. 

It is not, however, meant that Fanny gained 
an easy victory over old habits and disposi- 
tions. It is not natural for us to do that which 
is right and good, and therefore we find it very 
difiicult. Fanny was still fretful and discon- 
tented at times, but there was an evident 
struggle against wrong thoughts and passions ; 
and wherever this is the case, with dependence 
upon God's help, success is certain. 

And were Fanny and Mary better friends ? 
We shall see. Brightly shone the sun one 
Sunday afternoon as Fanny walked slowly and 


thoughtfully along the quiet lane to church. 
It was exactly one year on that very day 
since she first went to her Sunday-school, and 
she was trying to compare her thoughts and 
feelings then, with her thoughts and feelings 
now. It is sometimes pleasant to look back, 
and sometimes painful ; but it is always profit- 
able ; because we may learn many useful lessons 
from the past, which will help us in the future. 

Just as Fanny turned a corner of the lane, 
she saw two or three of her schoolfellows, 
among whom was Mary Ellis, a few yards in 
advance ; and she lingered on her way in hopes 
that they would not see her, for they were 
laughing and talking very loudly, and Fanny 
was not inclined to join in their mirth. But 
she was disappointed; for light as her step 
was, one of them heard it, and they all looked 
round, and waited until she came up to them. 

"Why, how grave you look," said Jane 
Perkins, "what is the matter, Fanny?" 

'•Nothing," answered Fanny, quietly. 

"We were just talking about Miss Simmons' 
new bonnet !" exclaimed Esther Mills. "Was it 
not a fright?" 

"I am sure I do not know," replied Fanny, 
"I have not noticed it." 


"Not noticed it!" said Esther, opening her 
eyes very widely, " Why how could you help 
seeing it? Where were your eyes?" 

" Oh ! Fanny is too good to think about bon- 
nets on a Sunday ; do you not know how wrong 
it is?" remarked Mary Ellis, in rather a scorn- 
ful tone. " Besides, I do not suppose she knows 
any thing about the fashion." 

Mary was right. Eanny knew very little 
indeed about "the fashion," and it was much 
better that she did not ; and yet she felt vexed 
by Mary's remark, because it seemed to im- 
ply that she was inferior to the rest. She was 
hurt, too, at the taunt about her "goodness," 
and she was half inclined to a.nswer in a simi- 
lar spirit, and to say that Mary would have 
been much better employed in minding her 
lessons than in criticising Miss Simmons' bon- 
net ; but better thoughts came into her mind, 
and she was silent till they entered the church. 

There was no school held that afternoon, 
for it was the second Sunday in the month ; 
and on the second Sunday in every month, Mr. 
Simmons always preached a sermon to children. 
Fanny liked these sermons very much, for they 
were so simple and interesting that she could 
understand them without any difficulty. 


When the text -was given out she found it in 
her own little Bible, and put her hook mark in 
the place that she might read it to her grand- 
mother when she returned home ; and then she 
fixed her eyes on Mr. Simmons, and listened 
eagerly to every word that he said. Some of 
the girls stared about them most of the time, 
and a few whispered to each other whenever 
their teacher looked another way ; but Fanny 
knew that while she was in a place of worship 
it was both her duty and her privilege to pay 
attention to her minister, and to receive with 
thankfulness his gentle instructions. 

Would you like to know what the text was 
which Fanny found so carefully in her gilt-edged 
Bible ? It was that beautiful verse about our 
Saviour in Isaiah, ^' He shall gather the lambs 
with his arms, and carry them in his bosom;" 
and Mr. Simmons spoke to the children of the 
love and care of that good Shepherd who came 
to seek and to save his lost sheep ; and he 
asked them to hear the voice of that kind 
Shepherd, and to follow him, for he would lead 
them in the green pastures and beside the still 
waters : he would guard them from every dan- 
ger, and save them from every foe ; and gather 
them at last to his heavenly fold above. 


Fanny hoped that she tn'us one of Christ's 
lambs. She loved her Saviour and wished to 
please him, but she felt sorry when she thought 
how often she wandered from his ways, and 
followed her own inclinations instead of obey- 
ing his holy will. The sermon did Fanny 
good ; for it reminded her of her own weak- 
ness, and at the same time encouraged her to 
trust vrith confidence in her kind and faithful 

A tear stood in Fanny's eye when Mr. Sim- 
mons finished his sermon, and as she hastily 
brushed it away, she saw Jane Perkins and 
Mary Ellis looking at her ; and Jane made a 
very long face in ridicule of Fanny's serioas 
expression of , countenance, and then Mary 
laughed. Fanny coloured a little, for it is not 
pleasant, even to a child, to become an object 
of ridicule by others ; but she took no notice 
of the conduct of her schoolfellovrs ; and when 
Mary, in passing out, dropped her handker- 
chief, Fanny, who was behind, picked it up 
and gave it to her with a very pleasant smile. 
She was resolved that Mary's rudeness should 
not make Iter ill-tempered. Mary looked a 
little ashamed as she thanked Fanny, and, in- 
stead of pushing rudely before her, when they 


reached the door, as she would otherwise have 
done, she made room for Fanny to pass as 

How delightful it is to return good for evil ! 
If you have any doubt about it, dear young 
reader, just try for yourselves, and see if you 
do not find, as Fanny did, that an unkind ac- 
tion is best repaid by a kind one. Our Saviour 
teaches us to love our enemies, and to do good 
to them that hate us ; and, if we would be his 
disciples, we must try to obey his precepts. 

Fanny found her brother waiting for her 
when she got outside, for he, too, had been to 
hear the children's lecture ; and the reason 
why he had not walked with his sister to the 
church was, because he went round another 
and a longer way, that he might carry some 
broth from his grandmother to a poor woman 
who was ill. 

Harry was not a Sunday-scholar ; shall I 
tell you why ? He was very tall and manly 
for his age, and all the boys in the Sunday- 
school were both shorter and younger than 
himself, and Harry was therefore ashamed to 
be seen among them. He fancied that per- 
sons would smile, or feel amused, if they 
noticed him in the Sunday-school, and although 


he would gladly have shared in the instructions 
which were there given, this false shame made 
him keep away. Ah ! how frequently the dread 
of ridicule hinders many in the path towards 
heaven ! 

But Harry always went to the children's 
service — he liked it almost as much as Fanny 
did — and then Fanny and he walked home 
together and talked about the sermon ; and 
Harry was sometimes surprised to find how 
much more Fanny remembered, and how much 
more clearly she understood it than he did. 
And yet Fanny was so dull ! 

Harry certainly did not think so. He was 
very fond of his little sister, and he enter- 
tained a far higher opinion of her abilities 
than Mary Ellis did. It was to please Fanny 
that Harry first went to the children's service, 
but he soon had a better motive for going. 
Mr. Simmons' kind and earnest appeals to the 
young people, and his simple explanations of 
the doctrines and precepts of the Holy Scrip- 
tures, had made Harry thoughtful and consi- 
derate ; and now, through God's grace, he 
listened with serious attention to all that was 
told him about the way of salvation. 

Fanny loved her brother very much, and 


she was delighted when she found that on the 
most important of all subjects, their thoughts 
and feelings were so much alike. Happy are 
the brothers and sisters who travel together 
not only in the journey of life, but in the way 
to heaven ! 

Fanny was at her school, as usual, on Mon- 
day ; and the quiet engagements of the children 
were somewhat varied in the afternoon by the 
unexpected, but not unwelcome, appearance of 
a kind old gentleman, who sometimes paid a 
visit to the school. They were very glad to 
see him, for he always had a pleasant smile 
and a cheerful word for each little girl as he 
walked round the room, — now asking a ques- 
tion, now looking over a copy, and now listen- 
ing to a hymn or a few verses of Scripture, 
from one of the youthful group. 

Before he went away he told the first class 
(the class to which Mary Ellis belonged), that 
he would give a very pretty little book to any 
girl in that class who would commit to memo- 
ry, against the next morning, a piece of poetry 
which he pointed out to them in one of the 
books. It was a long and rather difficult 
piece, but the tempting offer induced even the 
most indolent of the girls to agree to learn it, 


or, at all events, to 'try to do so ; and Mary 
Ellis was in high spirits during the rest of the 
afternoon, for the reward which the old gen- 
tleman promised was the very book which she 
had been wishing for a day or two before ; and 
Mary had no doubt whatever about getting it, 
for she could learn any thing very quickly if 
she chose, and poetry was especially easy to 
her. Fanny, on the contrary, was very dull 
after their kind visitor had departed, for she, 
like Mary, was very anxious to become the 
possessor of the nice little book. She had seen 
one of the same kind in a shop window as she 
came to school, and it had quite taken her 
fancy. But then Fanny was not in Mary's 
class, so that she could not avail herself of the 
promise that had been made to it. Gladly 
would Fanny have sat up until late that even- 
ing to learn the poetry, if she might have stood 
any chance of gaining the book ; but it could 
not be, and she felt both sorry and vexed when 
she thought so. She was envious, too, of Mary. 
She did not like that she should have the bright 
opportunity which was denied to herself. 

"Mary has plenty of story-books," Fanny 
would have said, if her thoughts had been put 
into words ; "- it will not be half such a treat 


to her if she gets it as it would be to me, and 
yet- 1 cannot even try for it ! It is very hard 
that Mary should be so much better off in 
every respect than I am ; she is always fortu- 
nate, but I can never have any thing I want." 

Was this Fanny who repined thus ? Was 
this the little girl whose heart glowed yester- 
day with holy and happy thoughts ? Are you 
surprised at the contrast, dear young reader ? 
It is, perhaps, because you are but little ac- 
quainted with your own heart. Oh ! it is sad 
to reflect how easy it is to pass from right to 
wrong. And if you have ever tried to over- 
come bad feelings and habits, you will know 
how difficult is the task ; how slowly — hovf very 
slowly — victory is gained. 

Fanny, at least, found it so. She had 
hoped that the selfishness and envy, which 
she really wished to get rid of, would soon 
disappear, but she found, as all will find who 
make the like effort, that the contest is a hard 
and sometimes a lengthened one. But Fanny 
did not therefore give up trying. Give up ! 
Oh no. She struggled on, trusting in God for 
his help to enable her to persevere, and he 
gave her strength to subdue her sinful inclina- 
tions and wishes. 


It was so to-day. Fanny saw how wrong 
and how unreasonable it was to envy Mary, 
or to feel cross with her on account of the 
reward-book, and she hastened to banish such 
unworthy thoughts from her mind, and tried 
to rejoice in the happiness of another. She 
could not, however, quite forget the book which 
the old gentleman had promised ; and she 
hoped that if Mary got one she would lend it 
to her to read, and that Avould be almost as 
good as having it herself. 

When Fanny w^ent home and had finished 
her tea, she sat down to prepare her lessons 
for to-morrow, for she was very anxious to 
make all the improvement she could ; but her 
grandmother interrupted her by saying, 

"Fanny, dear, before you begin, I want you 
to run down to Mrs. Ellis w^ith this little 

The little girl was comfortably settled, and 
she did not feel much inclined to go out again. 

" It rains, grandmother," — she said slowly, 
as she looked through the window. 

"The rain will not hurt you in that short 
distance. You can put on your over-shoes, and 
take an umbrella." 

Fanny would once have grumbled and hesi- 


tated, but she had now learned the duty of 
obedience ; so she did not answer again, but 
went cheerfully on her grandmother's errand. 
She tapped at Mrs. Ellis's door, and was told 
to walk into the little parlour. Mary w^as 
sitting in one corner of the room, with her 
unopened books before her, crying ! Fanny 
delivered her parcel and her message, and 
then turned round to inquire the cause of her 
schoolfellow's grief. It was so unusual to see 
a cloud on Mary's smiling face, that Fanny 
could not imagine what had happened. Mary 
dried her tears when Fanny came in, and 
seemed half vexed that she should have noticed 
them ; but she did not look up, nor attempt 
to give the explanation which was asked. Her 
mother answered for her. 

"Mary has been crying," said Mrs. Ellis, 
" because she left one of her books at school 
this afternoon. She wants to go back and 
get it; but I cannot let her do that, for it 
is coming on very wet, and she has a severe 

"But, Mary," said Fanny, in a tone of 
sympathy, "you need not mind missing one 
lesson to-morrow. Mrs. Brown will not blame 
you if you tell her that you forgot to take 


your book liome, and you will only lose one 

"But it is my poetry-book," exclaimed 
Mary, "with mingled sorrow and impatience, 
'' and I cannot learn the piece which was given 
our class, and then I shall lose the reward- 
book to-morrow." 

"Well, there's no use in fretting about it," 
said Mrs. Ellis, cheerfully, "you must save up 
the money, and buy the book yourself." 

" But that will not be half so good as having 
it given," pouted Mary, "and the poetry would 
have been so easy to learn !" 

"Never mind," continued Fanny, "it can- 
not be helped now, you know, and you will not 
be any worse off than I am; besides, you get 
so many prizes." 

These remarks were not very consolatory, 
although Fanny intended them to be so. 

"It is very easy to say 'Never mind,'" 
replied Mary, half angrily. " Of course, you 
do not care about it, because there is no chance 
of your getting the book;" and Mary turned 
away from Fanny as if she did not choose to 
say any more to her. 

Fanny soon took her leave, as her presence 
did not seem very agreeable to Mary ; but as 


she stepped across the threshold of the door, 
a bright thought struck her mind. She recol- 
lected that among some old books of Harry's, 
there was a half-worn-out copy of the same 
poetry-book which she had been in the habit of 
using, and it would do quite as well as Mary's 
own to learn the piece from ; she would make 
haste home and bring it for her ; it would be 
such a good opportunity of showing Mary 
that she wished to be kind and obliging. Some 
girls, if they had been in Fanny's place, would 
have thought very differently. They would have 
said to themselves, <' I am sure I shall not take 
the trouble to lend Mary my book, when she is 
so rude and uncivil to me. She wall be served 
quite right to be disappointed to-morrow." 

Children generally imagine that if we are 
kind to those wdio are kind to us, it is all tha^t 
can be expected from us. The Jews, in the 
time of our Saviour, used to say, " Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy:" 
but Jesus Christ told them that they were to 
love their enemies, to do good to those that 
hate them, and to pray for those who try to 
injure them. This is a difficult lesson, but 
Fanny had learned it, or rather, she had begun 
to do so. 


Fanny soon searched her grandmother's cot- 
tage, and obtained permission to lend Mary 
the book, and to run back to her with it. 
The rain was now falling very fast, and 
the ground, not being paved, was wet and 
muddy ; but Fanny was accustomed to be out 
in all weathers, so she trudged along very 
contentedly beneath the shelter of her large 
umbrella. Besides, had the walk been ever so 
disagreeable, Fanny would not have cared just 
then, because her object was such a pleasant 
one. She knocked the second time at Mrs. 
Ellis's door ; and on re-entering the parlour, 
found Mary sitting exactly where she had left 
her, and looking as listless and unhappy as 
before. With glowing cheeks and a beaming 
countenance, Fanny ran eagerly forward, and, 
placing the old book in Mary's hand, told her 
how glad she was that she had been able to 
find it. 

Mary looked really pleased, and she thank- 
ed Fanny w^armly for her kindness in coming 
out on purpose to bring it ; and she felt at that 
moment a little ashamed that she had so often 
laughed at Fanny on account of her <'dulness" 
and her "goodness." 

It was a very simple act of kindness which 


Fanny had performed, and yet she felt more 
than usually light-hearted and happy during 
the rest of the evening, and she seemed to 
learn her lessons with less difBculty. Such is 
the blessed influence which doing good to 
others has upon ourselves ! 

The morning came, and Fanny went to 
school, and so did Mary, in spite of her bad 
cold, for she could not be persuaded by her 
mother to stay at home, because, if she did, 
she must give up the promised book. 

And did Mary get the book ? 

Yes ; the kind old gentleman gave her one 
when she had repeated the piece of poetry to 
him ; and he told her that she had said it very 
well indeed. Mary was delighted with her 
reward, but she did not forget that she was 
partly indebted to Fanny for it ; and Fanny 
was the first to wdiom she turned to display 
her newly acquired treasure. 

" It looks like such a pretty book, Fanny. 
You can read it in the play-hour if you like, 
and I will lend it to you again to-morrow." 

Fanny was much pleased with this offer; 
and she was also gratified by the kind manner 
in which it was made ; for Mary was not in 
the habit of speaking so pleasantly to her. 


When the children were dismissed from 
school that morning, Fanny did not forget to 
claim from Mary the fulfilment of her pro- 
mise ; and, while the other girls were amusing 
themselves in the garden, Fanny sat by herself 
in the schoolroom, reading the noAV book, and 
feeling very happy. 

Perhaps, dear young reader, you expected 
that Fanny would get a reward-book as well 
as Mary. You thought that her kindness to 
her schoolfellow deserved compensation, and 
therefore you fancied that in some way the old 
gentleman would find a reason for bestowing 
one of his presents on her. I am very glad he 
did not : because then you might have imagined 
that every kind action, like that of Fanny's, 
would meet with a similar recompense. 

"And why should we not imagine so?" 
perhaps some child may exclaim. <^ Are we 
ahvays to do that which is right, and get no- 
thing by it?" 

Get nothing by it ! Yes, dear reader ; you 
will have a peaceful conscience, and a light 
heart. Is not that enough ? If you are influ- 
enced in the performance of an apparently 
generous, thoughtful, or self-denying deed, by 
the mere expectation of getting as much in 


return, it is plain that your motive is a selfish 
one. Now we should do what we know to be 
right, whatever the consequences may be ; and 
the sweet feeling of self-approval, or rather 
the consciousness of God's approval, should be 
a sufficient reward for so doing. 

Fanny was very much interested in the story 
she was reading ; and so quickly did the time 
pass away, that she was quite surprised when 
the clock gave the warning sound for two. She 
would have liked to finish the book then, but 
this could not be ; pleasure must give way 
to duty ; so Fanny closed the pretty volume, 
and returned it to Mary, thanking her for the 
loan of it. 

"It is such a beautiful story, Mary," she 
said, "I wonder whether it is all true." 

" What signifies whether it is true or not?" 
replied Mary. '' If it is amusing, that is all 
I care about." 

Mary seemed heated and tired. She sat 
down on the low form and leaned her head 
against the table. 

"What is the matter, Mary?" said Fanny. 

" My head aches so," answered Mary. 

" Does it," responded Fanny, kindly ; " shall 
1 ask for something to bathe your forehead 


Tvitli? Grandmother always uses something 
when she has the headache, and it does her so 
much good." 

" Oh, do not tease me !" said IMarj, fret- 
fully. " I wish you would be quiet !" 

Fanny had no intention of "teasing," but 
as she saw that Mary could not bear to be 
spoken to, she remained silent, and the only 
further notice she took of her headache was 
to tell the little children not to make a noise, 
because it would disturb Mary. 

When the eno^agements of the school com- 
menced again, Mary's flushed cheek and 
heavy eyes attracted the attention of the 
teacher, and she told her she had better go 
home, for she was not well enough to continue 
her studies that afternoon. 

Many of the girls would have been glad of 
this permission; but Mary was so diligent, and 
BO anxious for self-improvement that she was 
never willingly absent from her class. Yet her 
headache was so violent that she did not hesi- 
tate to follow her teacher's advice ; and when 
she had folded up her work and put it away, 
she left the school. 

Fanny felt sorry that Mary was so unwell. 
She had envied her when she saw the book 


given to her, but now she saw that Mary had 
troubles to bear as well as other people. 

The next morning Mary's place in school 
was vacant, so it was evident that she was not 
better. Fanny had intended to call at Mrs. 
Ellis's after breakfast, to inquire after her 
schoolfellow ; but she overslept herself, and 
was obliged to hasten the nearest way to 
school. Her grandmother had, however, given 
her leave to go round there on her return, 
and Fanny did so. Mrs. Ellis came herself to 
the door. 

''How is Mary to-day?" said Fanny. 

"Very poorly indeed," replied Mrs. Ellis. 
" She was very restless and feverish all night ; 
and this afternoon she has appeared so much 
worse, that we have sent for the doctor." 

"What does he say?" inquired Fanny, 
anxiously ; for she did not understand that he 
had not yet arrived. 

"We have only just sent for him," an- 
swered Mrs. Ellis. "I wish he would come, 
for I feel quite concerned about Mary." 

Fanny said she would call again to-morrow 
as she went to school, that she might hear 
what the doctor said ; and then she walked 
slowly homewards, thinking about Mary, and 


wondering whether she would get better. Her 
envious feelings respecting her schoolfellow 
were all forgotten. Fanny saw how vain was 
every worldly advantage in the hour of sick- 
ness, and in the prospect of death ; and she 
wished she could feel sure that Mary loved 
her Saviour, and trusted in him, because she 
knew that it is only by faith in Jesus Christ 
that we are prepared for another world, as 
well as made happy in this. 

Mary was much worse the next morning ; 
and for several days it was extremely doubtful 
whether she would get well again. Her 
parents were afraid that they must part with 
their beloved child; it was a sad trial for 
them, but it made them reflect how wrongly 
they had acted in training their little girl so 
much more for earth than heaven. Their 
chief desire had been to see her grow up pretty 
and bright, and admired by others, and the 
" one thing needful" had been almost lost sight 
of; for, although they had sent her to the 
Sunday-school when it was opened, they had 
done so more because they were pleased with 
its novelty than from any real desire that 
Mary should remember her Creator in the 
days of her youth. 

44 . '\ FANNY GRAHAM. 

It lio we var pleased God that Mary should 
recover ; but it Avas a long time before she re- 
gained her usual strength. For several months 
her cheeks were thin and pale ; her thick, 
glossy ringlets, of which she had been so vain, 
were gone ; they had been cut off during the 
fever ; and she was so weak that she could not 
walk to the bottom of the garden without feel- 
ing VQry tired. Mary was, indeed, an altered 
little girl ; and the alteration in her personal 
appearance was not more striking than the 
change in her feelings and conduct. Her 
illness had made her think differently about 
many things. When she saw how grave the 
doctor looked as he stood by her bedside, and 
heard her mother's anxious sigh, she was afraid 
that she might, perhaps, soon die ; and she 
knew that she was not ready to die. 

How gladly at that moment would she have 
changed places with Fanny — the despised little 
Fanny whom she had so often teased and ridi- 
culed. How much more precious did Fanny's 
quiet. Christian, and consistent conduct then 
appear to Mary than her own pretty looks 
and quick abilities. She thought of her past 
life; how forgetful she had been of the 
God who made her ; how continually she had 


broken his laws ; hoAV much she, had disliked 
his ways ; and she remembered, too, the unkind 
words and the selfish actions which had too 
frequently marked her intercourse with others. 
I do not mean that she was able to do this 
while she was very ill ; for her head was so 
painful, and the fever was so high, that she 
could not think at all collectedly for several 
days, and sometimes she was quite insensible. 
How true it is that a sick or dying bed is not 
the place for beginning to think about reli- 
gion ! Now while you are in health, dear 
children, seek God, and you shall certainly 
find him ; for "Now is the accepted time; be- 
hold, now is the day of salvation." 

It was when the fever left Mary, and she 
was beginning to get better, that these thoughts 
came into her mind, and the kind and faithful 
instructions which she had received at her 
Sunday-school came to her memory, and pro- 
duced that good efi'ect which they had failed to 
do when she first heard them. She recollected 
what her teacher had told her about Jesus 
Christ — that he died to save sinners, and has 
promised he will never cast out any who come 
to him ; and Mary hoped that he would save 
her — that he would forgive her all her sins, 


and make her His child. She asked him to 
do so ; she prayed to him, not with her lips 
only, but with her heart ; and God heard and 
answered her prayer. Mary loved to think 
about her Saviour now, and to hear about him ; 
and if you had seen the smile which lighted up 
her pale features, or the tear which glistened 
in her eye, as she listened to the chapter 
out of the Bible which Miss Simmons read to 
her, you would have said that Mary was in- 
deed changed since the time that she used to 
talk and trifle during worship, and laugh at 
Fanny for being so "good." Miss Simmons 
was very thankful as she marked the differ- 
ence, for she earnestly desired to see all the 
dear children committed to her charge treading 
in the narrow way which leads to eternal life ; 
and she trusted that Mary's steps were now 
directed in that pleasant and peaceful path. 

But I have been so busy telling you about 
Mary, that I have almost forgotten her little 
friend Fanny. Twice a day, while Mary was 
dangerously ill, Fanny's gentle tap might have 
been heard at Mrs. Ellis's door — for she al- 
ways called in the morning as she went to 
school, and in the evening when she returned, 
to inquire after her schoolfellow — and when 


Mary was pronounced out of clanger, I do not 
think that any one, except her father and 
mother, felt more glad than Fanny did. And 
Fanny went in as frequently as she could to 
see Mary — for she could not run about and 
amuse herself as she used to do, and she was 
very weary with being so quiet and alone ; 
for her mother was too busy to stay with her 
always, and she had no brothers or sisters to 
keep her company. So Fanny would go and 
sit with her of an evening, and on her half- 
holidays, (if her grandmother could spare her,) 
and tell her any little circumstance which 
happened at school, or read to her out of 
one of the pretty books which Miss Simmons 
lent them. 

Fanny seemed to have forgotten the past. 
She was as kind and attentive to Mary as 
if she had always been her warmest friend. 
And did Mary forget the past ? Oh no ! 
She could not but think of her little unkind- 
nesses towards Fanny, and of the proud feeling 
with which she had compared ''the dull girl" 
with herself, and she was ashamed and hum- 
bled on account of them. She could not 
receive unmoved the repeated expressions of 
Fanny's goodwill towards her ; and as her little 


schoolfellow would sometimes run into the 
room, her cheeks glowing with health and good 
humour, with a bunch of sweet wildflowers, or 
a few red currants, which she had gathered 
off her own bushes, the tears would come into 
Mary's eyes, to think how little she had de- 
served such kind attention ; and she wondered 
that she could ever have called Fanny stupid. 
How delighted Fanny was to find that Mary 
welcomed her visits, and was grateful for her 
friendship, and, above all, loved and trusted 
in the same Saviour, we must leave you to 

Six months passed away since Mary was 
taken ill, and her birthday, which happened 
about that time, found her still pale and deli- 
cate ; but there was an expression of peace and 
humility on her countenance which had never 
been observed there in her more healthful 
days. Fanny was invited to spend the whole 
of that day with Mary ; and her grandmother 
kindly allowed her to do so. She went early 
in the morning, and stayed till bed-time ; and 
the little girls were very happy together. It 
would have been a pleasant sight if you could 
have seen them as they sat by themselves in 
the nice arbour which Mr. Ellis had made in 


Kis garden ; Fanny with her arm round Mary, 
and both looking at the new book which Mary's 
mother had bought her for a birthday present. 

It is time, however, that this story should 
close ; and I think I cannot leave off at a bet- 
ter part than where Fanny and Mary became 
such good friends. But you would like to 
know whether they remained the same when 
Mary got quite well ; and I am very glad to 
be able to tell you that they did. 

Mary had learned that there are other things 
more valuable than a quick understanding and a 
good memory, and she could therefore admire, 
and also try to imitate, Fanny's unselfish con- 
duct, and her steady desire to do that which was 
right. And Fanny, too, had grown wiser than 
she used to be. The word of God had taught 
her that, while we diligently strive to improve 
our own talents, we are not to envy those 
which are intrusted to others ; and she could 
therefore look at Mary's superior abilities and 
and attainments without that murmuring and 
repining which they had once excited. 

Now, dear young readers, let this story of 

Fanny, and the peep at her heart, lead you to 

examine yourselves. Are you cherishing any 

feeling of pride and discontent ? Dismiss it at 





once, or rather ask God to give you his grace, 
that, being made his children by adoption, you 
may daily be renewed by his Holy Spirit, and 
be enabled to subdue and overcome all your 
sinful passions.